Monday, April 20, 2009

Waiting for the Cubs

Mesa is now waiting for the Cubs to see exactly what they think they need to stay in Mesa. It was shocking to learn that Fitch went under rennovation back in 1997, but a lot has changed since then, especially in the facilities around the valley. Not only that, but look how technology has changed.

In 1997, dial-up internet was still king, and video capturing was still fairly new. These days, you can go into almost any golf pro-shop, get your swing filmed in slow-motion, analyzed, put on Youtube, and a computer can probably tell you how to get 20 more yards on your drive.

Now, think about baseball as a multibillion dollar business. Wouldn't you assume that they would want the latest facilities to train and rehab their players? Don't you think as the highest draw in Spring Training, they look to some of the other facilities and think that they deserve similar?

If Mesa can get off with a new practice facility and some minor improvements to Hohokam, they should consider themselves getting off fairly easily.

1 comment:

Heath Reed said...

there has to be a long term plan in place between the city and the organization to make sure the city gets what it wants and the needs are meet for the cubs.

This might be crazy, but we need some creativity to flow between the city, the cubs and some private investors or developers to build a new stadium and experience. Something that is viable year around and brings in multiple users. MCC could use the facility if it goes to a university, same with minor league baseball can play here. The other option is United Soccer League team. Phoenix is a hotbed for soccer and this could be a good facility. MLS and a USL has looked at the area in locating a team.

But the idea is that this is an experience. The spring training hall of fame can locate to the area and be more of a Chicago/Mesa atmosphere. The area should be mixed use, in or connected to the downtown area and bring in employment, office buildings and condo towers with shopping and entertainment. I know, sounds like a crazy dream, but you have to dream big sometimes. Thing is, all of the other facilities don’t capture the fans and keep them in the area after and before the game. They are bigger, sprawling facilities with all the practice fields right at the stadium and there is no connection to the city. The current location is not cutting it and was a poor choice for the stadium. It can happen if the city works with the cubs and bring in some out of state dollars and investors/developers to Mesa.

Now I will tell you, I did not like how the new ownership came into town and did what they did to this city. I thought that they were arrogant and treated mesa somewhat unfairly. They are right that they need some upgrades but why not evaluate how the spring training goes, meet with the mayor and talk about what you feel you need to stay competitive, work out a plan that works instead of demanding and hinting that you might leave. Now I know the whole Dbacks things is what most likely triggered this, and I understand it. The cubs need to communicate better with the city and have some understanding about the economic state this city is in.